At a distance, they may look similar. Up close the two couldn’t be more opposite. The top item is a bit of yellow plastic twine that is often found on the beaches of Mustang Island. It is immediately scooped up and placed in my trash bag.

While it looks like electrical wiring, the tangled mess at the bottom of the photo is a bundle of Colorful Sea Whip (Leptogorgia virgulata). Though there are several different hues of soft coral (including purple, red, and white), yellow is the one I most commonly see washed ashore. I leave the sea whip in place so it can cycle nutrients back to the sand.

Categories: Nature Notes

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